Dortmund seek to find Euro form against Shakhtar
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has insisted his side will bounce back at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday in their UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg clash following a heavy home defeat by Hamburg.
Dortmund went down 4-1 at home on Saturday at the hands of Hamburg and now face a tough trip to Ukraine.
The German champion's pressing game deserted them as Hamburg found plenty of space to attack down the wing with Korea Republic's Son Heung-Min and Latvia's Artjoms Rudnevs both scoring twice.
"We weren't good against Hamburg and deserved to lose, we'll be better on Wednesday," said Klopp with his side looking to reach the last eight for the first time since 1998, when as defending champions they lost in the semi-finals against Real Madrid.
Having finished unbeaten on top of Group D with eye-catching wins over Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax at home, Klopp's side must prove they can again forge a result away from home in the first-leg clash at the Donbass Arena.
Shakhtar are looking for a third win in four home matches in this season's competition after beating both Danish champions Nordsjaelland and holders Chelsea before a 1-0 home defeat to Juventus in October, cost them first place in Group E.
Dortmund have impressed on the road so far in Europe, picking up a 4-1 win at Ajax, and they were only denied victories at City and Madrid by late equalisers.
They will be without German winger Kevin Grosskreutz, who was hospitalised at the weekend with pneumonia, while defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is doubtful as he is carrying a thigh and toe injury.
Klopp received a boost on Sunday, as centre-back Neven Subotic passed a fitness test after a long lay off while Germany left-back Marcel Schmelzer is fit to be included after a throat infection and a bruised foot.
Ambitious Shakhtar seek lofty heights
The Ukraine league and cup double winners are backed by mining billionaire Rinat Akhmetov and have ambitions to become one of Europe's major forces.
Coach Mircea Lucescu said his team will have to produce something special to beat Dortmund.
"Dortmund won the strongest group in this season's competition and that gives you an idea of how good they are," said the Romanian.
"Maybe you wouldn't call Borussia superstars but their team play has been perfectly fine tuned.
"No one else in the Bundesliga plays such a passing and flowing game as Dortmund, but we have to think about our own preparations before thinking of the other team.
"I hope the class and experience of our players will allow us to approach the Borussia games in top shape and so qualify for the quarter-finals."
Lucescu revealed Donetsk were beaten by Dortmund in 2010 for the signature of striker Robert Lewandowski and the Shakhtar defence will have to work hard to keep the Poland international quiet.
Lewandowski scored his 19th goal of the season and was sent off against Hamburg on Saturday.
"He's an excellent player, it's a shame he didn't come to us five years ago when he was 19. He's a dangerous player and we have to respect him," said Lucescu.
The return leg is at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park stadium on 5 March.